You’ll know by now that I’m all about getting started as a major key to success, particularly when it comes to blogging, but obviously it doesn’t end there. Once you’re started, it’s all about the big C. Consistency. It’s the number one thing you need to keep in mind if you want to build a community and audience. However, for many of us consistency is elusive (been there!). On my recent post about balancing your day job and your passion project, one of the big things you guys said in the comments was that above all else your blog or creative pursuit was hard to maintain, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s a hard slog of planning, doing and then pushing yourself when you don’t have the energy, particular if you’re balancing other projects at the same time. But don’t be put off, because whilst consistency is essential, it’s also manageable, with a few tips and tricks. Read on for a few thoughts on being more consistent, and turning that consistency into success (however you want to measure it).
What does consistency mean? At the end of the day it’s a matter of finding a balance between what you want to do, what you can do well and what your audience will accept. For example, many believe that you’re best updating everyday, if you want to get people checking it daily. BUT you’d be crazy to set that as your goal if it’s likely to a) make you crazy and b) have you posting content that isn’t well executed. Doing three, or even one, really good post per week might be the answer. The important thing is that once you’ve set that goal you stick to it, as it’s important to meet the expectations of your audience (most of the time at least).
Create a plan
The key to being more consistent? Making a content plan in advance and sticking to it. And focusing on planning months ahead with your projects, shoots, proposals and content, rather than for just what’s coming up in the next few days. Not only will you have greater time to prepare and therefore hopefully better outputs, you’ll also see a better picture of what needs to be done with limited time. Head here to read more about how we plan the content for this blog.
Maximise Content Opportunities
My secret to more posts in less time? Looking at everything you do as an opportunity to create content for your blog/social. It works on a casual level – Saturday at Ikea with your children may seem like an awful day that gets in the way of your blogging goals – but could you create some content while you’re there? Take a few snaps and write a guide to, say, different fabrics (or whatever). It also works on a more professional level too – if I’m shooting with the team we will always make a list of 10 posts we want to shoot at once. We also look at content from different angles to maximise posts – a post about making a dress could be split up into how to pick fabric, how to work out the best fit and how to sew a seam. More is more in terms of content, and less is more in terms of time.
Block out Time
Ok so you don’t have much time, but in the time you do have you should focus on blocking it out completely to focus on your blog. Whether it’s an hour on a Tuesday night or a full Sunday, it’s good to plan ahead at the beginning of the week and block out the time in advance. That way you can fully dedicate yourself to it then and not put pressure on yourself at other times. I like to block out Sundays and two days at the beginning of the week to do all my blogging, and then I can focus on other projects and shooting for the rest.
The biggest threat to consistency is jumping too and fro on different things – that hamster in a wheel vibe – where you spend a whole day on 3094 tasks but at the end have very little to show for it. You’ll find with blogging that there’s lots of different tasks, but many of them follow the same routine around shooting, editing, writing and linking. To save time I’ve learnt to group similar tasks together rather than doing them all for a single post at a time. As I mentioned we might shoot two weeks of posts in a week, or edit a month’s worth of photos in a day and write the copy for a bunch of posts at the same time. This is something that’s helped me to get into the mindset of a certain task and be quicker (and better) at it.
Schedule Your Social
These days it’s easy to be prolific with your social posts, particularly on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook where regular posts and updates are expected. Scheduling will change your life, allowing you to post content when your readers are online, even when you’re not! And it also allows you to develop a huge amount of content in one sitting rather than in a piecemeal fashion. I use co-schedule to handle a lot of my updates, as it allows you to create social updates for each blog post directly from wordpress.
Creating a successful blog won’t happen overnight, but it does allow you to express yourself, build your creativity andddddd potentially get paid to do it, so it’s worth creating a plan (that works for you) and dedicating time so you can always be consistent – an audience will come in time too! Also remember not to be too hard on yourself, you’re doing the best you can! 🙂